17 styling tips for you to look taller than you really are – including common mistakes that you’re probably making even today!

Height is something that you are either blessed with, or cursed with. And it really just depends on our genes. For those who are luckier, they’re a lot taller and they don’t have to worry that much about finding clothes that fit.

For those of us who are a little less fortunate in the height department, we’re sure you’ve encountered situations where a pair of cropped denim jeans that are supposed to end about two inches above your ankles end up fitting you just right and landing at your ankles instead. Don’t worry, we’ve been there as well.

While it is unfortunate that we might be short, it doesn’t mean that life for us always has to be this way. The number one key rule to make your legs look longer than they are is to create the longest unbroken visual line possible from your head to toe without seeming unnatural.

It might be confusing if you just read that sentence without any explanation, but don’t worry, we’ll explain it along with some tips so that it’s much easier to understand. Follow our tips below and experience what the air up there is like for a change!

1. Wearing heels

One of the most no-brainer styling tips to make yourself look taller is to wear heels. You’ll realise that those who wear heels tend to have legs that look better than those who wear flats, even though they may have the same leg shape when they’re barefooted.

Credit: Charles & Keith

This is because when you’re wearing heels, you’re on your toes, and you’re flexing your muscles in order to walk in them. This gives the illusion that your legs are much longer than they actually are. Wearing heels also helps to emphasise the muscles on your calves and make them look toned.

2. Monochromatic styling

The next styling tip is to go full monochrome, and that means to wear a similar shade for your top, bottom, and footwear. Make sure that it’s a solid colour too, and you don’t wear any prints.

The reason behind this is that when you wear the same shade for every article of clothing on you, you help to create this long unbroken visual line that will trick the eyes into thinking that you’re much taller than you actually are because nobody will be able to tell where your torso ends and where your legs begin.

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The most common monochromatic style is to go full black. This doesn’t just make you look taller, but it also makes you look slimmer -score!

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If you’re not into the black aesthetic, and you don’t really want to wear full white, for example, you can always mix and match a little. For example, you can wear a white top with a beige pair of fitted pants, and a pair of nude heels or white sneakers. The shades are still pretty similar, and they do work to make you look taller.

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3. Go high-waisted for everything

For a lot of us who are shorter, we tend to have a longer torso and shorter legs. What you would want to do is to create an illusion that your torso is shorter so that your legs appear longer, and in order to do this, you will have to move your perceived waistline much higher up. This can be done by going high-waisted for everything.

Going to catch a movie? Wear a pair of high-waisted jeans.

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Going for an important meeting? Wear a pair of high-waisted pants.

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Going on a date? Wear a dress with a high waist.

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As you can see, when you move your waistline up, you trick the eyes into thinking that your legs are longer than they actually are.

4. Wearing 3/4 sleeves

Another tip you should follow is to start wearing tops with 3/4 sleeves.

Now, you might be wondering, what do sleeves have to do with your legs looking longer? Trust us, they do affect how our legs look.

When you wear a top with 3/4 sleeves, you’re showing a bit of skin on your arms. This makes your arms look longer, and when you look at yourself as a whole, the eyes will be tricked into thinking that your legs are longer too.

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If you don’t have a top with 3/4 sleeves, you don’t have specially purchase one. You can also wear a cropped sweater and pull up the sleeves till they sit nicely around your forearms. This would work too.

It’s all an optical illusion, but hey, if it works, there’s no reason not to try it!

5. Wear pointed toe shoes

Pointed toe shoes tend to give off an optical illusion that the visual line is much longer than it is as compared to if you were to wear a pair of rounded toe or square toe shoes. The latter only serves to make you look stubbier, which is something you definitely do not want.

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Evidently, the following pointed toe pair of pumps looks much better than the above photo of square toe flats.

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We understand that pointed toe shoes are usually more uncomfortable especially if you have wide feet, because it would feel like your toes are being squeezed. As such, what we suggest is to wear toe protectors or toe caps to cushion your toes and prevent friction. This will also prevent your toes from sliding towards the front and getting squeezed. If you’re not someone who is used to wearing heels, you might want to start off with pointed toe flats first! Since they are flat, they are much easier on your feet.

6. Match your bottoms with your shoes

Another way to build a long unbroken visual line is to match your bottoms with your shoes in terms of their colour. The most failproof style is to go with black bottoms and black shoes.

Credit: BrightonTheDay

As you can see in the image, she’s wearing an olive green knitted sweater over a pair of black high-waisted cropped jeans, and a pair of low shaft tight ankle bootie. Since her top is covering the waistline of her jeans, you can’t tell where her legs actually start. This makes her legs look much longer.

And since the boots are the same colour as her jeans, they help to elongate her legs even further.

Here’s another example where her jeans are much longer and you don’t see her skin at all.

Credit: BrightonTheDay

Since there is no gap between her jeans and her boots, it’s visually a little more difficult to tell where her leg ends and her feet begin. As such, she looks like she has longer legs in this photo than the previous one.

7. Wearing nude shoes

Wearing nude shoes, or rather, shoes that match your skin tone will help in making you look taller because you are adhering to the rule of building the longest unbroken visual line from your head to toe.

Credit: Jimmy Choo

Nude shoes, just like black ones, go with almost every outfit, so they’re also a good basic to have in your wardrobe. And if they make you look taller, that’s an even better reason to get a pair, right?

8. Avoid oversized T-shirts

A lot of us love oversized clothes. With such T-shirts, you won’t have to worry about anyone commenting on your figure because they are unable to see it. Plus, being in an oversized top gives you so much more freedom to move around in.

We know it feels good, but it’s time to chuck those oversized clothes into the back of your closet and start wearing fitting clothes instead.

While oversized clothes are so much more comfortable, those that are too big tend to engulf your tiny body, which will make you look smaller than you actually are. In some cases, the oversized fit can make you look bulkier, even when you’re not.

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We’re sure that’s not what you want. As such, if you want to look good, opt for fitted tops instead.

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9. Wear cropped jackets or cardigans

Other than wearing an oversized T-shirt, we also like to wear oversized hoodies, be it ones that we stole from our partners or ones that we deliberately buy in bigger sizes in stores. There’s just something about it that just makes you feel so well-protected, like you’re being hugged by soft fabric.

However, just like what the oversized T-shirt can do to your body, oversized hoodies will make you look even bigger and bulkier. It doesn’t do much favours for your height either.

If you feel cold, you can opt for a cropped jacket or sweater. These will still look really cute and keep you warm at the same time.

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10. Always tuck in your top

Most tops usually end at your hip, and if your hips are the widest part of your body, this tends to emphasise your hips more than anything else. Instead of wearing your tops untuck, consider tucking them in for a change.

Tucking your top in will firstly help to cinch in the waist and bring emphasis to the smallest part of your body, which will have a slimming effect.

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Secondly, tucking your top in will raise your waistline up, especially if you’re wearing a pair of high-waisted jeans. This then once again elongates your legs and make you look like you’re much taller.

If you’re afraid that there will be too much fabric bunched up in your pants when you tuck your top in, causing you to look bulkier than you are, you can also consider doing a French tuck instead. This means that instead of doing a full tuck, you’re only tucking in the front of your blouse.

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Doing this will still make you look taller without worrying about any bunched up fabric in your pants.

11. Wear dresses or skirts with a high slit

If you like the look of a midi or maxi dress or skirt, but you’re afraid that it will make you look shorter, don’t worry. We’ve got the fix for you. When shopping for such pieces, make sure you go for one that has a high slit.

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When there’s a slit, you will show more skin on your legs, and it will give the impression that the clothes fit you well and that your legs are longer. And since the slit is in a straight line from top to bottom, it creates this vertical line that adds to the length of your legs, making them appear longer.

12. Avoid ankle-strap shoes

Remember how we always want to create a visual line that is unbroken from our head to our toes? Well, as pretty as they are, ankle-strap shoes can bisect your legs and cut the visual line short. This will then cause you to look shorter, which is the opposite of what you want.

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You might be wondering if there’s really no other way for you to wear ankle-strapped shoes, especially if your favourite heels are strappy sandals. Well, the only time the rule can be overlooked is if you were to wear a pair of ankle-strapped heels in the shade of your skin tone.

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It may make it slightly better, but at the end of the day, we don’t really recommend it.

13. Choose your midi skirts properly

When it comes to shopping for midi skirts, you need to be wary of where the skirt ends. It is important to ensure that they don’t end at the widest point of your calves because this will make you look stubbier.

Instead, opt for one with a hem that is a couple of inches higher than the midpoint of your calves, or opt for one with a hem that is lower than the midpoint of your calves by about one or two inches.

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This way, you’ll look slimmer and taller.

14. Avoid knee-length skirts

You can go for mini skirts, midi skirts, and even maxi skirts, but don’t ever go for knee-length skirts. These skirts are not flattering at all for us because they divide the legs into two portions and the awkward length makes you look a lot shorter.

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We’re sure you’ll get what we mean when you see the above photo. Even though the skirt may be high-waisted, it ends at an awkward length that doesn’t look good.

So no matter what you do, avoid knee-length skirts at all costs.

15. Wear vertical stripes

Another way to look taller is to wear stripes. Not just any kind of stripes though. We’re talking about vertical stripes.

Since vertical stripes are essentially vertical lines that run from top to bottom, they help add to the long visual line and make your entire body look longer than it actually is.

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Hence, when you wear clothes with vertical strips, like a pinstriped suit, you’ll look a lot taller.

16. Go for jeans that have less whiskering

Similar to how vertical lines can make you appear taller, horizontal lines also give off an optical illusion that you’re wider than you actually are. As such, when you purchase clothes, especially jeans, you should look for a pair with less whiskering. By whiskering, we’re talking about the crease lines that usually go across your hips, also known as the widest part of the body for most people.

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When there are more lines, you emphasise your hips, and this will make you look stout.

Here’s an example of a pair of jeans with very little whiskering.

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17. Wear jumpsuits

If you haven’t already tried wearing jumpsuits, you should give it a try. While jumpsuits may be difficult to remove when you head to the toilet, this full outfit offers an unbroken visual line that just makes you look taller.

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With jumpsuits, there’s no telling where your torso ends, and where you legs begin. As such, they’re the perfect way to manipulate your waistline to make you appear to have longer legs than any other method

In fact, this works just as well as full monochrome outfits sans the struggle of finding clothes in the same shade.

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